20'' or 24'' imac

I am planning on going to Columbia College in Chicago and getting a degree in product design in the fall. I want to get a new computer and catch up on some of the programs that I will be using before school starts. I’ve always owned PCs but I have used Macs in every graphics arts class and photography class I ever had and I love them. I am interested in getting an imac and was wondering if it is worth getting a 24’’ imac over the 20’'.

Larger screens have been scientifically proven to increase productivity… Especially when you will need workspace for the variety of tool panels your programs will have. Why an iMac though? Wait till you’re a student and get your student discount to buy a mac pro… This will give you the option to maintain windows compatibility with programs like rhino or solidworks. In addition the 8 core machine will blow away any benefits of a larger screen. If this isn’t an option because of price. Your money would be better spent getting the 20" screen and buying a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet. It’s a wonderful tool which if you get good with will save you time and make you stand out from your peers.

I think you’re asking the wrong question…

First find out what software you’ll be using, then ask them what kind of a computer you should get for product design–they’ll probably tell you a PC, not a mac due to the PC-only CAD software that will be on your agenda (Rhino, Solidworks etc.) Of course, you could use Bootcamp to run that stuff. Also recognize that your future employers probably aren’t using macs (the corporate IT world especially) and that could put you at a disadvantage come graduation.

Personally, I’d recommend getting a PC Tablet notebook that can do it all, and you can take with you to class.

There are ENDLESS posts about PC vs. MAC here on Core… You might want to read up on those first and create your wish-list.

I really like macs but a tablet PC does look like the better route because you can draw directly on th screen and you get more for your money. Now I need to figure out what tablet PC to get. The two that I am looking at right now are the x61 and the M700. My dad is a teacher so I would get the same discount now as I would if I waited until I was a student.